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Sports startup Codoon eyes AI after raising $20 million

COLDSKY.CN – Codoon, China’s leading sports social platform, vows to further integrate AI with fitness services after raising $20 million in Series C round funding from Fu Ding He(富鼎和), Jian Rong He(建融合) and SBCVC(软银中国).

Established in 2010 by Chengdu-based Ledong Informational Co., Ltd., Codoon said its app now reaches more than 100 million users and it hosts over 200,000 sports groups across China while also organizing 500 games online and offline.

The app allows users to track and analyze running data such as routes, speed, calorie consumption and mileage, and share in exercise and meet others. The internet sports brand also offers smart bracelets and running shoes with data synced to the Codoon app. In addition it promotes other franchised products and runs an enterprise version of its sports program. Its overseas edition, called Runtopia, worked with mobile advertising platform Taptica to push into the U.S. market.

Codoon CEO Shen Bo said the new funding help increase investment in AI technology, expand offline retail and enable development of more wearable sports gadgets.

Jogging has attracted waves of enthusiasts in China, where the number of marathon or half-marathon runners increased significantly as detailed in the China Daily report ‘Mass fitness is the buzz out of Beijing Marathon.’.

For a while, many people (including the author myself) enjoyed sharing running data or fitness images on WeChat, while more companies also motivated employees to join the trend as a team-building effort.  

Amid the rush to run, some shops on China’s largest e-commerce site have offered to run on Codoon or its rival Joyrun on behalf of those unwilling to sweat, as indicated in the left screenshot.

Founded in Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province in 2014, Joyrun focuses only on running and had 30 million users and 150 games by February 2017. Joyrun has received investment from Sinovation Ventures and(创新工场),co-founded by former Google and Microsoft executive Kai-Fu Lee, and the Arena Capital(动域资本), which was jointly by K-BIRD (贵人鸟), HUPU Sports虎扑体育, and Greenwoods Capital (景林资本).

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